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Student Profiles - Debra McIntyre

Debra is part of Husson's graduate counseling program, and wanted to share her experiences so far with us. Here's what she had to say!

Deb McIntyre, Graduate StudentTell us about yourself, what led you to Husson?
I'm a mother of three and have been married for 25 years. After working in the business field for 15 years, I had a desire to pursue a career in a helping profession. Although I enjoyed my role in the business community, I had a passion for wanting to help others, especially our youth. After meeting with Deb Drew, Director of Graduate Counseling programs, I was left with a lasting impression and decided to pursue a career in counseling. I would be challenged academically, as the program was already following the high standards for CACREP even before Husson became accredited. I would leave with an education that would help me stand out in the counseling community due to the outstanding reputation this program is known for. When comparing tuition rates with other university counseling programs, Husson's counseling program is very affordable. In essence, I knew from that initial meeting Husson's Counseling program was the place for me. 

What made you want to pursue being a school counselor?
I have a passion for wanting to help young people realize their potential. Having the opportunity to work with students in multiple focuses allows me to provide services that will help students grow in all aspects of their lives. The best part of becoming a school counselor was having the opportunity to take the knowledge and training from our program and be able to help ALL students.

Explain the importance of school counselors. What impact do they have on students?
School counselors provide comprehensive, data-driven, developmental guidance programs. We focus on academic achievement, social/emotional development and career readiness. We're advocates for students, we collaborate with parents and community, we teach, guide, refer, support and counsel. Transformation for every student impacts them for life. Many school counselors are charged with having around 300 students or more. Reaching so many students is challenging, to say the least. We would not be able to accomplish such a task if we were not highly trained and competent counselors upon graduation.

How has your experience at Husson helped you in your career?
My experience in the graduate counseling program at Husson has been more than I had ever imagined. When I look back at the journals we were to keep throughout our educational journey, I see not only a change in my knowledge, but also a change from the person I was when I began. The professors challenge the students to be self-aware, compassionate, professional, ethical, and well-rounded individuals. This enabled me to begin a career in school counseling with confidence in my ability, skills and knowledge. I'm certain that because of the high standard set before us during our education, we are prepared to be some of the most competent school counselors around.

What was your experience with the Husson program?
The Husson University graduate counseling program has prepared me well for my career as a school counselor. As I complete my internship this semester, I have already received the opportunity to begin my career as a high school and middle school counselor. As is the case for 100% of all graduate counseling students from Husson University, I have a career in place immediately upon completion of my program. I attribute the opportunity for transitioning directly from a student into a professional school counselor to the devotion of our professors who have worked diligently to provide a high-standard education for all counselors-to-be.
It's hard for me to hold back my enthusiasm for this program and most especially, the professors who have helped move my classmates and me towards our goals and aspirations. They not only provide a challenging education, they also go above and beyond devoting their time and energy to ensuring we will be successful professional counselors. They have many years in the field. This brings a new dimension to simply teaching as they are able to pass along what they have learned not only through education, but true hands-on experience. We have had the pleasure to observe our professors working hard advocating for counselors in the state of Maine and nationally, serving on many committees and organizations. Most importantly, we observed our professors spending countless hours developing a program and doing what was needed to become CACREP accredited. We students could not be more proud of our professors for their devotion and are honored to leave with a degree from an accredited program.

What would you say to a potential school counseling student?
I've had the opportunity to attend a few colleges in our area. I chose Husson's school counseling program for many reasons. When deciding on what university to attend, I would advise asking yourself these questions:

Do you want an education that is challenging, yet prepares you to be highly competent in your career?
Would you like to develop life-long friendships and collaborations with classmates?
Do you want an affordable education?
Would you like a degree from a CACREP accredited program?
Would you like to begin your career upon graduation?
Would you like to get to know your professors and have opportunity to meet when and as often as needed?

If you said yes to these questions, then the Husson University's graduate school counseling program is for you. Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2016. Don't hesitate; you don't want to miss an opportunity to receive and education from the best school counseling program around!